The Slieve Bloom Ard Eireann Festival 2016 was held on the last weekend of July, Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st. The Festival originally an ancient pre-harvest festival was revived 6 years ago by The Slieve Bloom Association. On Saturday 30th there was a very interesting tour around the Slieve Bloom Mountains, taking in Cloneenagh and St Fintan’s bush, Roscrea Castle and Damer House, Seir Kieran and Tobar Lughna. Many thanks to Sean Murray, who guided us around the sites. Thanks to Sal’s Diner in Borris-in-Ossory for the lovely lunch and friendly service – and what a view from the new extension!
On Sunday 31st was the traditional walk up Ard Eireann (Arderin), the highest point of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, lead by the historian and folklorist, Mick Dowling. Everyone made it to the top and enjoyed the view without the usual shower of hailstones! Mick regaled all with tales from the mountain and afterwards the walkers headed back to the Poet’s Cottage for welcome refreshments.